Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2542-5277
  • E-ISSN: 2542-5285
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This study analyzes translation behaviour with respect to the salience of two grammatical constructions that differ in frequency. We assumed that a more frequent construction is also more entrenched in the translator’s mind and that as a result different translation solutions are more readily available. For this reason, we expected that a more frequent construction is translated more quickly than a less frequent construction, resulting in lower reading and typing-related measures of cognitive effort during the translation process. A translation experiment was designed to test this assumption. We triangulated keystroke logging and eye tracking data from 11 professional translators and tested the results using linear mixed regression modelling, controlling for, among others, lexically-based effects of salience. While we did not find statistically significant evidence of a facilitation effect regarding the entrenchment of (partially) abstract grammatical structures (-NPs), we did find salience effects from lexical sources such as cross-linguistic structural priming and words with typical translation solutions. Lexical effects of salience on the translation process were shown to be more reliable indicators of facilitation in translation than the salience of more abstract linguistic structures – at least if the effect is a result of salience that stems from entrenchment. Since one limitation of our study is its necessarily small sample size, we draw methodological conclusions for improving experimental designs that will be useful for researchers in empirical translation studies.


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Keyword(s): automaticity; default translation; entrenchment; translation experiment
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